<<Prev Rule

Texas Administrative Code

Next Rule>>
TITLE 16ECONOMIC REGULATION
PART 2PUBLIC UTILITY COMMISSION OF TEXAS
CHAPTER 25SUBSTANTIVE RULES APPLICABLE TO ELECTRIC SERVICE PROVIDERS
SUBCHAPTER ECERTIFICATION, LICENSING AND REGISTRATION
RULE §25.101Certification Criteria

(a) Definitions. The following words and terms, when used in this section, shall have the following meanings unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

  (1) Construction and/or extension--Shall not include the purchase or condemnation of real property for use as facility sites or right-of-way. Acquisition of right-of-way shall not be deemed to entitle an electric utility to the grant of a certificate of convenience and necessity without showing that the construction and/or extension is necessary for the service, accommodation, convenience, or safety of the public.

  (2) Generating unit--Any electric generating facility. This section does not apply to any generating unit that is less than ten megawatts and is built for experimental purposes only.

  (3) Habitable structures--Structures normally inhabited by humans or intended to be inhabited by humans on a daily or regular basis. Habitable structures include, but are not limited to: single-family and multi-family dwellings and related structures, mobile homes, apartment buildings, commercial structures, industrial structures, business structures, churches, hospitals, nursing homes, and schools.

  (4) Municipal Power Agency (MPA)--Agency or group created under Texas Utilities Code, Chapter 163 - Joint Powers Agencies.

  (5) Municipal Public Entity (MPE)--A municipally owned utility (MOU) or a municipal power agency.

  (6) Prudent avoidance--The limiting of exposures to electric and magnetic fields that can be avoided with reasonable investments of money and effort.

  (7) Tie line--A facility to be interconnected to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) transmission grid by a person, including an electric utility or MPE, that would enable additional power to be imported into or exported out of the ERCOT power grid.

(b) Certificates of convenience and necessity for new service areas and facilities. Except for certificates granted under subsection (e) of this section, the commission may grant an application and issue a certificate only if it finds that the certificate is necessary for the service, accommodation, convenience, or safety of the public, and complies with the statutory requirements in the Public Utility Regulatory Act (PURA) §37.056. The commission may issue a certificate as applied for, or refuse to issue it, or issue it for the construction of a portion of the contemplated system or facility or extension thereof, or for the partial exercise only of the right or privilege. The commission shall render a decision approving or denying an application for a certificate within one year of the date of filing of a complete application for such a certificate, unless good cause is shown for exceeding that period. A certificate, or certificate amendment, is required for the following:

  (1) Change in service area. Any certificate granted under this section shall not be construed to vest exclusive service or property rights in and to the area certificated.

    (A) Uncontested applications: An application for a certificate under this paragraph shall be approved administratively within 80 days from the date of filing a complete application if:

      (i) no motion to intervene has been filed or the application is uncontested;

      (ii) all owners of land that is affected by the change in service area and all customers in the service area being changed have been given direct mail notice of the application; and

      (iii) commission staff has determined that the application is complete and meets all applicable statutory criteria and filing requirements, including, but not limited to, the provision of proper notice of the application.

    (B) Minor boundary changes or service area exceptions: Applications for minor boundary changes or service area exceptions shall be approved administratively within 45 days of the filing of the application provided that:

      (i) every utility whose certificated service area is affected agrees to the change;

      (ii) all customers within the affected area have given prior consent; and

      (iii) commission staff has determined that the application is complete and meets all applicable statutory criteria and filing requirements, including, but not limited to, the provision of proper notice of the application.

  (2) Generation facility.

    (A) In a proceeding involving the purchase of an existing electric generating facility by an electric utility that operates solely outside of ERCOT, the commission shall issue a final order on a certificate for the facility not later than the 181st day after the date a request for the certificate is filed with the commission under PURA §37.058(b).

    (B) In a proceeding involving a newly constructed generating facility by an electric utility that operates solely outside of ERCOT, the commission shall issue a final order on a certificate for the facility not later than the 366th day after the date a request for the certificate is filed with the commission under PURA §37.058(b).

  (3) Electric transmission line. All new electric transmission lines shall be reported to the commission in accordance with §25.83 of this title (relating to Transmission Construction Reports). This reporting requirement is also applicable to new electric transmission lines to be constructed by an MPE seeking to directly or indirectly construct, install, or extend a transmission facility outside of its applicable boundaries. For an MOU, the applicable boundaries are the municipal boundaries of the municipality that owns the MOU. For an MPA, the applicable boundaries are the municipal boundaries of the public entities participating in the MPA.

    (A) Need:

      (i) Except as stated below, the following must be met for a transmission line in the ERCOT power region. The applicant must present an economic cost-benefit study that includes an analysis that shows that the levelized ERCOT-wide annual production cost savings attributable to the proposed project are equal to or greater than the first-year annual revenue requirement of the proposed project of which the transmission line is a part. Indirect costs and benefits to the transmission system may be included in the cost-benefit study. The commission shall give great weight to such a study if it is conducted by the ERCOT independent system operator. This requirement also does not apply to an application for a transmission line that is necessary to meet state or federal reliability standards, including: a transmission line needed to interconnect a transmission service customer or end-use customer; or needed due to the requirements of any federal, state, county, or municipal government body or agency for purposes including, but not limited to, highway transportation, airport construction, public safety, or air or water quality.

      (ii) For a transmission line not addressed by clause (i) of this subparagraph, the commission shall consider among other factors, the needs of the interconnected transmission systems to support a reliable and adequate network and to facilitate robust wholesale competition. The commission shall give great weight to:

        (I) the recommendation of an organization that meets the requirement of PURA §39.151; and/or

        (II) written documentation that the transmission line is needed to interconnect a transmission service customer or an end-use customer.

    (B) Routing: An application for a new transmission line shall address the criteria in PURA §37.056(c) and considering those criteria, engineering constraints, and costs, the line shall be routed to the extent reasonable to moderate the impact on the affected community and landowners unless grid reliability and security dictate otherwise. The following factors shall be considered in the selection of the utility's alternative routes unless a route is agreed to by the utility, the landowners whose property is crossed by the proposed line, and owners of land that contains a habitable structure within 300 feet of the centerline of a transmission project of 230 kV or less, or within 500 feet of the centerline of a transmission project greater than 230 kV, and otherwise conforms to the criteria in PURA §37.056(c):

      (i) whether the routes parallel or utilize existing compatible rights-of-way for electric facilities, including the use of vacant positions on existing multiple-circuit transmission lines;

      (ii) whether the routes parallel or utilize other existing compatible rights-of-way, including roads, highways, railroads, or telephone utility rights-of-way;

      (iii) whether the routes parallel property lines or other natural or cultural features; and

      (iv) whether the routes conform with the policy of prudent avoidance.

    (C) Uncontested transmission lines: An application for a certificate for a transmission line shall be approved administratively within 80 days from the date of filing a complete application if:

      (i) no motion to intervene has been filed or the application is uncontested; and

      (ii) commission staff has determined that the application is complete and meets all applicable statutory criteria and filing requirements, including, but not limited to, the provision of proper notice of the application.

    (D) Projects deemed critical to reliability. Applications for transmission lines which have been formally designated by a PURA §39.151 organization as critical to the reliability of the system shall be considered by the commission on an expedited basis. The commission shall render a decision approving or denying an application for a certificate under this subparagraph within 180 days of the date of filing a complete application for such a certificate unless good cause is shown for extending that period.

  (4) Tie line. An application for a tie line must include a study of the tie line by the ERCOT independent system operator. The study shall include, at a minimum, an ERCOT-approved reliability assessment of the proposed tie line. If an independent system operator intends to conduct a study to evaluate a proposed tie line or intends to provide confidential information to another entity to permit the study of a proposed tie line, the independent system operator shall file notice with the commission at least 45 days prior to the commencement of such a study or the provision of such information. This paragraph does not apply to a facility that is in service on December 31, 2014.

(c) Projects or activities not requiring a certificate. A certificate, or certificate amendment, is not required for the following:

  (1) A contiguous extension of those facilities described in PURA §37.052;

  (2) A new electric high voltage switching station, or substation;

  (3) The repair or reconstruction of a transmission facility due to emergencies. The repair or reconstruction of a transmission facility due to emergencies shall proceed without delay or prior approval of the commission and shall be reported to the commission in accordance with §25.83 of this title;

  (4) The construction or upgrading of distribution facilities within the electric utility's service area;

  (5) Routine activities associated with transmission facilities that are conducted by transmission service providers. Nothing contained in the following subparagraphs should be construed as a limitation of the commission's authority as set forth in PURA. Any activity described in the following subparagraphs shall be reported to the commission in accordance with §25.83 of this title. The commission may require additional facts or call a public hearing thereon to determine whether a certificate of convenience and necessity is required. Routine activities are defined as follows:

    (A) The modification or extension of an existing transmission line solely to provide service to a substation or metering point provided that:

      (i) an extension to a substation or metering point does not exceed one mile; and

      (ii) all landowners whose property is crossed by the transmission facilities have given prior written consent.

    (B) The rebuilding, replacement, or respacing of structures along an existing route of the transmission line; upgrading to a higher voltage not greater than 230 kV; bundling of conductors or reconductoring of an existing transmission facility, provided that:

      (i) no additional right-of-way is required; or

      (ii) if additional right-of-way is required, all landowners of property crossed by the electric facilities have given prior written consent.

    (C) The installation, on an existing transmission line, of an additional circuit not previously certificated, provided that:

      (i) the additional circuit is not greater than 230 kV; and

      (ii) all landowners whose property is crossed by the transmission facilities have given prior written consent.

    (D) The relocation of all or part of an existing transmission facility due to a request for relocation, provided that:

      (i) the relocation is to be done at the expense of the requesting party; and

      (ii) the relocation is solely on a right-of-way provided by the requesting party.

    (E) The relocation or alteration of all or part of an existing transmission facility to avoid or eliminate existing or impending encroachments, provided that all landowners of property crossed by the electric facilities have given prior written consent.

Cont'd...

Next Page

Link to Texas Secretary of State Home Page | link to Texas Register home page | link to Texas Administrative Code home page | link to Open Meetings home page